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Bottega Veneta was founded in Vicenza—a city in northeastern Italy known for its famous leathers and Palladian architecture. Since the luxury brand’s launch in 1966, their dedication to leather goods has created an array of opulent items from the very material that the city is famous for.
Further south in Sicily are the ruins of a town called Gibellina—a city that was destroyed in 1968 by an earthquake. It may not be the closest town to Vicenza, but the rich history of Gibellina holds a special place for born and bred Italians, and Bottega Veneta’s Creative Director Tomas Maier. For the brand’s fall/winter 2016 collection, the astonishing city was home to the campaign’s glorious background.
Serving as the shoot’s breathtaking backdrop, an enormous land art masterpiece, Grande Cretto by Alberto Burri, was seen standing tall on Gibellina’s ruins as a town memorial, with a 260,000-square-feet space covered in white cement blocks over five feet tall. After nearly 30 years in the making, the large-scale sculpture made its debut last year, completed posthumously after Burri’s death in 1995. The artworks’ large cracks between the cement blocks are like mazes in the phenomenon—a winding tale of what was there before, and what is there now.
Two special models, Simon Fitskie and Rianne Van Rompaey, were selected as the campaign’s stars, and were photographed by Viviane Sassen to represent the historical happening.
From northern to southern Italy, to its headquarters in Switzerland and beyond, Bottega Veneta is continuing its reputable movement as an artisanal leather goods company—with an added show-stopping historical preservation spin.